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Forty years of faltering fatherhood
Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | June 15, 2012 | Kyle Wingfield

Posted on 06/16/2012 9:48:34 AM PDT by madprof98

When I wake up each morning, chances are it is to the sound of one of my sons. Whether it’s the voice of my 3-year-old or my 4-month-old that breaks my slumber, I find out when I come to. But they’re earlier risers than I am, and more to the point, they live under my roof.

Four decades ago, six in seven kids could say the same thing. Today, it’s five in seven. At current trends, when my boys are my age, perhaps half of American children will live with their dads.

It won’t be only on Father’s Day when they notice.

Sure, many of those future children will see their dads occasionally, as do many of those today who live only with their mothers. But you’ve probably heard the statistics before: Children living with two married parents are less likely to be poor and more likely to be healthy (physically and mentally) and to do well in school than kids who live with single parents or even cohabiting adults.

There’s another obvious but overlooked way boys from two-married-parent households will be better off. They’ll have more of a clue of what it means to be a good dad.

I’ve had few experiences more humbling than fatherhood. (Much of this, and more, I’m sure, applies also to motherhood.)

You learn quickly that babies might drink formula, but they don’t follow formulas. “If X is happening, do Y and you’ll get outcome Z” might work sometimes, but a lot of times it won’t.

You learn quickly that children have their own personalities and, within hours of a second child’s birth, how different they can be. All your practice dealing with one kid’s quirks suddenly looks pretty useless in raising No. 2.

You learn quickly that there’s little you can do about it if Junior doesn’t walk or talk as fast as his peers. If you’re wise, you realize, sooner or later, that you might not have had all that much to do with it if he is one of the fast learners.

And I think you learn, no matter what your relationship was like with your own dad, that there are things to learn from his influence in your life as you try to raise your own child(ren).

Maybe it’s the things he did right, maybe it’s the things he did wrong. My own dad was (is) such a great father, and my own shortcomings as a dad are so apparent to me, it’s all I can do to think about and try to adopt the things he did (does) well.

But even if your dad was a lousy, no-count cuss of an old man, you know why his lousy, no-count, accursed ways were wrong. And why it mattered.

If he was just a no-show, all you know is what absence is like.

Maybe you use his absence as motivation to be present for your own kids, and if so, good for you. But we humans tend to live out the behavior modeled for us, for better or worse. I have to think the rising numbers of children born out of wedlock — 41 percent of all births in 2010 — and/or living without their fathers reflect a pattern of fatherless men letting their own children grow up the same way.

Think of it as compound illegitimacy: The effects of one dad’s absence from his kids’ lives growing and growing, for them and their own children, for years to come.

We don’t talk about these things when we have “national conversations” about topics like inequality. But it’s hard to believe something like tax rates for the 1 percent has as much to do with inequality as a couple of generations of kids growing up with, and passing on, the sins of their fathers.

– By Kyle Wingfield

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: family; fathers; fathersday
Kyle Wingfield is the AJC's token conservative. This column seems innocuous enough, but the lefties jumped all over him for it in their online comments. Naturally, they were sure that having no father (or two fathers) or a father who lives in another state - or a sperm donor for lesbian mom - would be just as good as, if not better than, having a conservative living anywhere nearby. If these people reflect America today, I would give the country less than a generation before it breaks up or gets taken over.
1 posted on 06/16/2012 9:48:38 AM PDT by madprof98
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To: madprof98

When you have programs like EITC, Advanced EITC, SNAP, SCHIP, Section 8 housing, AFDC, WICs and other EBTish benefits mostly geared towards single-parent heads-of-household, you cannot help BUT create a fatherless society if the programs are extended to the extreme.

To my mind, it has already been taken over. More than half our ‘citizens’ aren’t worth the spit it takes to wet your hands.

2 posted on 06/16/2012 10:03:47 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: madprof98

Fatherhood started declining when “men” stopped carrying 6 shooters.

It is a simple matter of practice makes perfect.....

Today’s fathers can’t hit their proposed targets and hit everything but.....

Instead,they end up hitting their neighbors wife, the bosses wife, their best friends wife, a strange woman in the grocery store, young girls (and boys) they happen to meet on the street.

3 posted on 06/16/2012 10:25:06 AM PDT by jongaltsr
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To: madprof98

So sad isn’t it?

Let me say here and I will tell him later in person, I thank God for the man he sent to me, who is a wonderful father working hard so that I could be home with our kids and give them a stable home.

People always compliment me on how well I raised our kids, but truth is, without him I couldn’t have been the mother I was to them growing up.

May God Bless all fathers with His own love and may He give the grace to know their importance in the lives of their children.

4 posted on 06/16/2012 10:51:12 AM PDT by Jvette
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To: Jvette

Fatherless homes have given us feral mobs using their mom’s welfare cell phones to coordinate their next mob assault on a taxpayer’s place of business.

5 posted on 06/16/2012 11:10:02 AM PDT by abclily
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To: Jvette
Ladies. I know the day-to-day struggles can be overwhelming. But if the man who you married, the man who fathered your children has hung in there, give him an extra hug this father's day. It is so easy to complain about problems, and we men all have our faults, but a father who really is a father to their kids is the foundation of any civilization.
6 posted on 06/16/2012 11:18:50 AM PDT by fhayek
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To: madprof98

My Mom and Dad were a mismatch in many ways. Separation was considered more than once. They never did, though, and, boy, am I glad of it. Life with Mom as the head of household (sweetheart that she was) would have been totally chaotic.

Dad and I never really got along till I was nearly 30, but his last few years were pretty nice between us. I’m grateful for those.

7 posted on 06/16/2012 4:12:08 PM PDT by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.)
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To: abclily; fhayek

After years of a designed and focused attack on fathers, the left has succeeded in convincing too many women that their children need no one, not even themselves.

Children are farmed out to day care or left with family, forgotten and left alone like the family pet to fend for themselves.

Thank God for fathers who stay a part of their children’s lives, even if they are not living in the same home. If you have children, love them and tend to them no matter how far apart you may be physically.

8 posted on 06/16/2012 5:49:45 PM PDT by Jvette
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To: Jvette

“After years of a designed and focused attack on fathers, the left has succeeded in convincing too many women that their children need no one, not even themselves.”

They’ve convinced people they don’t need children, which is why the sex-selective abortion issue is being raised. If we don’t need children, who needs female babies to breed more? Somebody needs to do the physical work that makes the world go round, but females have a bit of a disadvantage in that regard.

9 posted on 06/16/2012 6:26:10 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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